The Group's net earnings are reduced to 463 million euros (-12.5 percent), mainly due to the Asistencia goodwill impairment.
The solid earnings performance in the Group's three main markets (Spain, Brazil and the United States) and the positive development of the business in LATAM, where premiums grew 13.3 percent, thanks to good results in Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic, is noteworthy. Furthermore, it is important to note that every country in the LATAM region recorded profits, along with an excellent combined ratio.
This business performance was a result of greater technical strength. The combined ratio continues to improve (1.7 percentage points) and stood at 96.4 percent for the period. Equity stood at 10.31 billion euros at the close of September 12 percent more than at December 2018, while shareholders’ equity rose by 12.4 percent in the last nine months to reach 8.98 billion euros. Total assets were also up, rising 10.5 percent to total 74.34 billion euros.
At the close of September, Group investments amounted to 54.75 billion euros, an increase of 11.1 percent compared to the close of 2018. The majority of these investments, 56.4 percent (30.87 billion euros) are sovereign debt, while 17.6 percent (9.64 billion euros) is in corporate fixed income, 4.7 percent in variable income (2.59 billion euros) and 2.7 percent (1.49 billion euros) in mutual funds.
The Group's Solvency II ratio stood at 198 percent at the end of June 2019, with 87 percent of this in Tier 1 (highest-quality) capital, maintaining great strength and stability, thanks to the Group's high level of diversification and strict investment and management policies.
Insurance Unit premiums between January and September 2019 totaled 14.94 billion euros, a 4.1 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
MAPFRE RE drove its premium volume up by 7.6 percent to 4.08 billion euros. This figure includes Global Risks business premiums (777 million euros). MAPFRE RE's net earnings were 102 million euros (-17.6 percent), affected by an increase in non-catastrophic claim frequency coming from the MAPFRE GLOBAL RISKS portfolio.
Finally, revenues at the Asistencia business unit slipped by 0.5 percent to 761 million euros. The negative result (-86 million euros) was impacted by the goodwill impairment at several subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, as well as the provision made to restructure the business in several countries.
The Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) used in the report, which refer to financial measures not defined or specified in the applicable financial reporting framework, along with their definition and method of calculation, can be found on our website: https://www.mapfre.com/corporate/institutional-investors/financial-information/alternative-performance-measures/